25 Years of Improving Lives Through Discovery: 1986 – 2011

Speaker Biographies

Stephen I. Katz
Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Stephen I. Katz has been Director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases since August 1995, and is also a Senior Investigator in the Dermatology Branch of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Katz has focused his studies on immunology and the skin. Dr. Katz has trained a large number of outstanding immunodermatologists in the U.S., Japan, Korea and Europe. He has served many professional societies in leadership positions, including as Secretary-General of the 18th World Congress of Dermatology in New York in 1992, and as President of both the International League of Dermatological Societies and the International Committee of Dermatology. Dr. Katz has also served on the editorial boards of several clinical and investigative dermatology journals, as well as several immunology journals. He has received many honors and awards, including the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award.

Francis S. Collins
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health

Francis S. Collins is the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In that role he oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research.

Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH from 1993 to 2008.

Before coming to the NIH, Dr. Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009.

John Edward Porter
The Honorable John Edward Porter
Chairman, Research!America

John Edward Porter is a partner in the Washington law firm of Hogan Lovells. He served 21 years as U.S. Congressman from the 10th District in Illinois, where he served on the Appropriations Committee, and as chair of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. Under his subcommittee’s jurisdiction were all the federal government’s health programs and agencies, along with all of the education programs and agencies.

He chairs Research!America and is vice-chairman of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the boards of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Foundation and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Mr. Porter is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the Bretton Woods Committee, the Inter-American Dialogue and the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously he served on boards of the Brookings Institution, the RAND Corporation, the American Heart Association and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Among the more than 275 awards for his service in Congress is the Mary Wood Lasker Award for Public Service.

Before his election to Congress, Mr. Porter served in the Illinois House of Representatives and prior to that as an Honor Law Graduate Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in the Kennedy Administration. He attended M.I.T. and is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Michigan Law School with distinction. Porter has nine honorary degrees.

Joan McGowan
Joan McGowan, Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Joan A. McGowan is Director of the Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases at the NIAMS, leading a program of research on basic muscle and skeletal biology; orthopaedics; osteoarthritis; bioengineering; tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; muscle physiology and muscle diseases; and osteoporosis and related bone diseases. She received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from Brown University. Before joining the NIH, Dr. McGowan was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. McGowan has been very active in osteoporosis and women's health activities at the NIH, including serving as a Project Officer in the Women’s Health Initiative since its inception and planning in 1991. She co-chairs the Federal Working Group on Bone Diseases, whose members represent all of the U.S. Federal agencies with activities in osteoporosis and related bone disease. She was the NIH organizer of a consensus development conference on optimum calcium intake in 1994, and one on osteoporosis held in 2000. She has served as a member of the advisory board of the Canadian Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis. She served as the senior scientific editor of the Surgeon General's Report on Osteoporosis and Bone Health published in 2004.

Richard Moxley
Richard Moxley, M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Rochester

Richard Moxley is Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester and Director of the Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center. After graduating from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, he completed an internship in Pennsylvania and then a Heart Disease and Stroke Control Program at NASA headquarters. His residency was in neurology at Harvard Medical Center and his fellowship was in medicine at the Johns Hopkins University. He completed a postdoctoral NIH special fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Moxley is also a former member the NIAMS Advisory Council. With support from the NIH, he initiated the National Registry of DM [myotonic dystrophy] and FSHD [facioscapulohumoral dystrophy] Patients and Family Members, a tool investigators can use to incorporate affected family members into their research. He has published numerous articles in professional journals and serves on many advisory boards and committees.

Clifford Rosen
Clifford Rosen, M.D.
Center for Clinical and Translational Research
Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Clifford Rosen is Director of Clinical and Translational Research and Senior Scientist at Maine Medical Center’s Research Institute. Dr. Rosen is the founder and former director of the Maine Center for Osteoporosis Research and Education, and he has overseen numerous phase II and III clinical trials, funded both privately and through the NIH. He is a member and former chairman of the FDA Advisory Panel on Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs and served on the NIAMS Advisory Council. Dr. Rosen has also served as chairman of the NIH Review Panel for Skeletal Biology and Bone Diseases, and he is a past president of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR). Dr. Rosen’s research interests include the genetic regulation of insulin-like growth factor relative to skeletal metabolism, parathyroid hormone as an anabolic therapy and the relationship between marrow adipogenesis and osteoblastogenesis. He earned his M.D. at the State University of New York at Syracuse.

Priscilla Ciccariello
Priscilla Ciccariello
National Marfan Foundation

Priscilla Ciccariello, Chairwoman Emeritus of the National Marfan Foundation (NMF), has played a significant role in the formation of key collaborations in the genetic disorders community worldwide, vaulting her to leadership positions with a number of organizations. In 1999, she was appointed to a 4-year term on the NIAMS Advisory Council. She is a founding member and President of the International Federation of Marfan Syndrome Organizations (IFMSO), as well as a founder and Co-President of the Coalition for Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue (CHDCT).

In additional volunteer positions over the years, Ms. Ciccariello has served on the boards of directors for the National Organization for Rare Disorders, the Council of Regional Genetic Networks and the Alliance of Genetic Support Groups (now the Genetic Alliance). She was also a member of former New York Congressman Robert J. Mrazek’s health advisory committee. She continues to devote time and energy to the IFMSO, the CHDCT and the NMF, and advocates on behalf of research, which continues to be her lifelong commitment.

Robert H. Carter
Robert H. Carter, M.D.
Deputy Director, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Robert H. Carter, Deputy Director, assists the NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz in providing strong and visionary leadership to the NIAMS. In addition, he contributes to the NIAMS’ pursuit of cutting-edge research on a broad spectrum of investigations from basic science to clinical studies, with translational research as a particular area of interest.

Before joining the NIAMS, Dr. Carter was Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and served as Director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. He also served as staff physician at the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Carter and his colleagues have been leaders in contributing to the understanding of molecular regulation of B lymphocyte activation to identify targets for therapeutic control of autoantibody production. A major focus of his work has been on signal transduction by the B cell surface molecule CD19, target identification in human lupus, and the study of B cells in the immune response of healthy individuals.

Dr. Carter has an extensive record of publications and editorial activities, committee and training commitments, teaching and mentoring dedication, and awards and honors. He served on the Committee for Research of the American College of Rheumatology, and the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee for the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc., and as a consultant to the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. He was also a VA Merit Awardee. Dr. Carter received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

Daniel Kastner
Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute

Daniel Kastner obtained his A.B. in philosophy from Princeton University and an M.D. and Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine. After completing an internal medicine residency and chief residency at Baylor, Dr. Kastner came to the NIH in 1985 as a rheumatology fellow. Based on a chance encounter with a patient with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) early in his fellowship, Dr. Kastner has studied genetic disorders of inflammation at the NIH for over 25 years. In 1992, his lab mapped the gene for FMF and subsequently discovered an inherited condition they named TRAPS (TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome). Dr. Kastner’s group also proposed the now widely accepted concept of autoinflammatory disease to denote disorders of innate immunity. Dr. Kastner was Clinical Director of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program from 2005 to 2010 before becoming Scientific Director at the National Human Genome Research Institute. In 2010, Dr. Kastner was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

John O’Shea
John O’Shea, M.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

John J. O’Shea has been a physician and immunologist at the NIH for 30 years, where he has made fundamental discoveries regarding the molecular basis for cytokine signaling, the pathogenesis of primary immunodeficiencies and the genetic basis of autoinflammatory disorders. He was awarded a U.S. patent related to generating Janus family kinase inhibitors as a new class of immunosuppressive drugs and is an Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) “Highly Cited Researcher.” Dr. O’Shea has been the recipient of numerous awards, including recently receiving the Public Lecture Award sponsored by the Irish Society for Immunology.

Dr. O’Shea graduated Phi Beta Kappa from St. Lawrence University in New York and received an M.D. from the University of Cincinnati. He did a residency in internal medicine at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University followed by subspecialty training in allergy and immunology at the NIH. After postdoctoral training, he started his own lab at the NIH in 1989. He was appointed Scientific Director of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program in 2005. Dr. O’Shea is board certified in internal medicine and allergy and immunology.

George Beach
George Beach
Beach Creative Communications

George Beach, a native New Yorker, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in advertising design from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1958. He studied drawing and painting under Andre Treves in 1962 at L’Academie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris.

Nineteen years before the NIAMS was founded, Mr. Beach was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. He was devastated by the news. He visualized his life and promising future as a fine artist, founder of one of the nation’s first African-American-owned advertising agencies, a newlywed, new father and proud homeowner all going dark and dreary.

At the onset of the disease, Mr. Beach endured prolonged periods of severe, crippling pain, living through countless surgeries, joint replacements and several major complications. How could this be? He was healthy, highly motivated and a creative person who thrived on success. Mr. Beach was determined that rheumatoid arthritis wouldn’t shut him down.

Today, Mr. Beach is 74 years old and full of life, art, creativity and commitment to rheumatoid arthritis patient advocacy, including serving as a former NIAMS Advisory Council member. He is thriving!

Susana Serrate-Sztein
Susana Serrate-Sztein, M.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Susana A. Serrate-Sztein is Director of the Division of Skin and Rheumatic Diseases at the NIAMS, overseeing a large portfolio of grants and contracts dealing with etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of skin and rheumatic diseases.

Between 1990 and 1993, Dr. Serrate-Sztein was Chief, Autoimmunity Section, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), where she managed a scientific portfolio dealing with basic and translational research on immune-mediated diseases.

Before joining the NIH, Dr. Serrate-Sztein was Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where she studied cytokine regulation of cell-mediated immune responses. She received postdoctoral training at the Laboratory of Immunodiagnosis, National Cancer Institute (NCI), where she studied natural killer cell activity against breast tumors in mice. Her clinical training is in anatomic and clinical pathology. Dr. Serrate-Sztein is a graduate of the Buenos Aires University School of Medicine.

John Stanley
John Stanley, M.D.
Department of Dermatology
University of Pennsylvania

John Stanley received his B.A., summa cum laude in physics, from Cornell University and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He trained in dermatology at New York University, then as a Visiting Scientist in the Dermatology Branch at the National Cancer Institute. He has been a Professor of Dermatology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a Senior Investigator in the Dermatology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served as a NIAMS Advisory Council member. Dr. Stanley’s clinical and research expertise focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of autoimmune blistering diseases of the skin.

Dr. Stanley has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jane Salmon
Jane Salmon, M.D.
Department of Medicine and Rheumatology
Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research
Hospital for Special Surgery

Jane Salmon graduated from New York University and earned an M.D. in 1978 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. She trained in rheumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery where she is currently the Collette Kean Research Chair and Co-Director of the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research. She is also Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Salmon’s research has focused on elucidating mechanisms of tissue injury in lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Her basic and clinical studies have expanded our understanding of pregnancy loss and organ damage in systemic lupus erythematosus and the determinants of disease outcome in lupus patients with nephritis, pregnancy and cardiovascular disease.

Amye Leong
Amye Leong, M.B.A.
Healthy Motivation

Amye Leong is an internationally recognized patient advocate, speaker, author and educator. She is President/CEO of Healthy Motivation, a health education/advocacy consulting firm in California and Paris, France. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 18 and later with Sjögren’s syndrome and osteoporosis, she became wheelchair-bound within 8 years. Ms. Leong has received numerous awards, including the 2001 President’s Volunteer Service Award, and was named one of the Arthritis Foundation’s America’s Fifty Heroes.

She has served on the NIAMS Advisory Council, chaired the Surgeon General’s National Council on Self-Help and Public Health and was the international spokesperson for the United Nations Bone and Joint Decade. Ms. Leong is currently a member of the NIH Director’s Council of Public Representatives. She earned a B.A. in communications from the University of California and an M.B.A. from Purdue University.

Emily Smith
Emily Smith
Arthritis Foundation

Emily Smith was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis in the fall of 1994. Since then, Ms. Smith has tried multiple medications and her arthritis is currently stable. She has been actively involved with the Arthritis Foundation for the past 10 years and will continue her work this summer at the national conference in Crystal City, Va. and Camp JRA in Millville, Pa. She just completed her freshman year in the nursing program at York College of Pennsylvania. She is an active member of the Phi Mu fraternity of women.

Helen Lu
Helen Lu, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Columbia University

Helen H. Lu is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Laboratory at Columbia University, with a joint appointment at the College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Lu’s research focuses on interface tissue engineering and the formation of complex tissue systems, with applications in integrative soft tissue repair and total joint regeneration. She is also active in the design of composite biomaterials for orthopaedic/ dental applications. Her group has published over 50 original research articles and numerous reviews and book chapters. Her research has been recognized with many awards, including the Early Faculty Career Award in Translational Research from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She was recently elected as a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Cato Laurencin
Cato Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
School of Medicine
University of Connecticut

Cato Laurencin is Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Connecticut and Dean of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Dr. Laurencin is also Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Academic Medicine, Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Professor of Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Laurencin is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He is also a former NIAMS Advisory Council member.

Dr. Laurencin earned his B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton University, his M.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Laurencin’s career has had a heavy emphasis on mentoring others. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama in ceremonies at the White House in 2010.

Maria Morasso
Maria Morasso, Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Maria Morasso is Chief of the Developmental Skin Biology Section (DSBS) in the NIAMS Intramural Research Program and Adjunct Scientist at the National Cancer Institute. The DSBS research focuses on the function of proteins with essential roles in skin development, and on a group of human heritable pathological disorders defined as ectodermal dysplasias. Dr. Morasso’s laboratory has developed a mouse model of the human pathology associated with mutations in DLX3 that may provide a molecular understanding of how mutations in genes cause ectodermal dysplasias and lead to improved therapeutics.

Dr. Morasso received her B.S. in biology from the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela, and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas, also in Caracas. Dr. Morasso came to the NIH to pursue postdoctoral training, was recruited to the NIAMS as a tenure-track investigator in May 2000 and was tenured in 2008.

Annie Kennedy
Annie Kennedy
NIAMS Coalition Co-Chair
Muscular Dystrophy Association

Annie Kennedy is Senior Vice President of Advocacy for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, overseeing the organization’s legislative and health policy efforts. Ms. Kennedy represents the Muscular Dystrophy Association on national and international policy efforts, and she currently serves on more than a dozen advisory committees. Ms. Kennedy is also responsible for several national initiatives being led by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, including the Transitional Services Program for young adults.

Tiffany Schmidt
Tiffany Schmidt, J.D., M.B.A.
NIAMS Coalition Co-Chair
American College of Rheumatology

Tiffany Schmidt is Vice President of Socioeconomic Affairs at the American College of Rheumatology where she oversees government affairs and physician practice management. Ms. Schmidt works with rheumatologists to educate members of Congress on rheumatic diseases. She has a law degree from Hamline University School of Law in Saint Paul, Minn., and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas.

Diane Rehm
Diane Rehm
Host, The Diane Rehm Show
National Public Radio

Each week, more than 2.2 million listeners across the country tune in to The Diane Rehm Show, which has grown from a local morning call-in show to one of public broadcasting’s most popular programs. Ms. Rehm has mastered the ability to capture the attention of the American public by effectively communicating complex and often controversial topics. Her show has highlighted a variety of issues relevant to the biomedical research community and frequently includes interviews with NIH representatives, grantees, patients, and health care providers. In 1998, Ms. Rehm’s career nearly ended because of spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological voice disorder that causes strained, difficult speech. Her experience has called attention to the condition and furthered her commitment to spreading the word about the value of biomedical research.

Ms. Rehm has received many awards throughout her career, including the prestigious Peabody Award in 2010, honoring her more than 30 years in public broadcasting. She has been named "Washingtonian of the Year," one of Washington’s "100 Most Powerful Women," and one of the "150 Most Influential People in Washington" by Washingtonian magazine.

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